Hunt sabs from across the country have shut down a number of driven grouse shoots on the first day of the season – the so-called Glorious Twelfth.
With specialist spotting units out across much of upland Britain from daybreak, it wasn’t long before a shoot was seen assembling at Heathfield Moor, Nidderdale in North Yorkshire.
Spotters then called in the main body of sabs, who immediately headed up to occupy the line of butts where shooters had hoped to spend their day blasting birds out of the sky. Result!
The beaters – the lackeys who use white flags and whistles to scare grouse towards the guns – retreated to the shooting lodge as sabs appeared on the horizon. As the day wore on, some showed their frustration by attempting to slash sab tyres and even spraying sabs with diesel. Despite these attacks – and police running around with ‘dispersal orders’ – sabs held their positions throughout the day.
Meanwhile, another group of sabs confronted a second shoot above Braithwaite, North Yorkshire. Again, sabs climbed the moors and again the guns abandoned their shooting butts and began the long trudge back to low ground. With yet more sabs parked up outside, the shooting party had nowhere to go – again, shooters not shooting on the Glorious Twelfth!
The day finished on a high with a third shoot being halted above Lofthouse. As sabs approached it was clear that a ‘drive’ was being set up, with beaters in formation ready to flush grouse towards the shooting butts. The presence of sabs was enough for the drive to be abandoned without a shot being fired.
An HSA spokesperson commented from the scene:
“Yesterday, brave hunt saboteurs placed themselves in harm’s way to disrupt the opening of the grouse shooting season. Our actions have already saved hundreds – perhaps thousands – of birds and drawn attention to the cruelty and ecological degradation inherent in this anachronous activity. While others talk, hunt sabs act: and our campaign against the 2023 grouse shooting season has only just begun!”